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[RC] Engrams upon engrams - Ridecamp Guest

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Authors YP Ivanenko, G Cappellini, N Dominici, RE Poppele, F Lacquaniti
Title   Coordination of locomotion with voluntary movements in humans
Full source     Journal of Neuroscience, 2005, Vol 25, Iss 31, pp 7238-7253

Muscle activity occurring during human locomotion can be accounted for by five 
basic temporal activation patterns in a variety of locomotion conditions. Here, 
we examined how these activation patterns interact with muscle activity 
required for a voluntary movement. Subjects produced a voluntary movement 
during locomotion, and we examined the resulting kinematics, kinetics, and EMG 
activity in 16 - 31 ipsilateral limb and trunk muscles during the tasks. There 
were four voluntary tasks added to overground walking ( similar to 5 km/h) in 
which subjects kicked a ball, stepped over an obstacle, or reached down and 
grasped an object on the floor ( weight support on either the right or the left 
foot). Statistical analyses of EMG waveforms showed that the five basic 
locomotion patterns were invariantly present in each task, although they could 
be differently weighted across muscles, suggesting a characteristic locomotion 
timing of muscle activations. We also observed a separate activation that was 
timed to the voluntary task. The coordination of locomotion with the voluntary 
task was accomplished by combining activation timings that were associated 
separately with the voluntary task and locomotion. Activation associated with 
the voluntary tasks was either synchronous with the timing for locomotion or 
had additional activations not represented in the basic locomotion timing. We 
propose that this superposition of an invariant locomotion timing pattern with 
a voluntary activation timing may be consistent with the proposal suggesting 
that compound movements are produced through a superposition of motor programs.

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